Wednesday, 28 May 2008

reductions in animal testing?

While scanning news headlines today I came across an article about a group of scientists in Europe opposing animal testing - in medical research and science as well as cosmetics testing. A few lines from the story are particularly worth repeating, one a logical argument against testing on animals, the other an ethical critique.
According to Gill Langley, a scientist from a British-based advocacy group that opposes animal testing in medical research, studies have "found that animal testing was not able to predict the effect of drugs on humans in 50 to 99 per cent of cases." Not a great track record...
Regardless of results, testing on animals is an unethical practice - thus runs the other argument. Jane Goodall, whose celebrity status makes her a quotable figure among anti-animal testing scientists, suggests that such testing is "morally wrong and unacceptable." Even more interesting to me is her assertion that her primate research has made it clear "that no sharp line can be drawn between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom."

The divide between human and animal was challenged today (to strike a lighter note) when a chipmunk decided to run up my leg at Hamilton's Royal Botanical Gardens Arboretum. The little critter seemed convinced that I was hiding food and only needed a little persuasion to hand it over. A picture will follow (as soon as I get a cable that will enable me to get the pictures off my camera phone...).

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